The continuing wave of lockouts continues to go unremarked by the government, the opposition and the media.
Over the past few months there has hardly been a week, when one, or even two, and sometimes even three lockouts have been going on around the country.
This week has been no different;
The continuing lockout of coal miners at Rotowaro by Solid Energy who are trying to continue contracting out and casualising the mining industry, now entering its third week, was yesterday joined by the employers at Amcor who have locked out their workforce in an effort to bludgeon their employees into giving up their smoko breaks and accepted manning levels. Even Parliament is threatening to lockout its security guards indefinitely if they take another 2-hour stirke.
Imagine the outcry if instead of a wave of lockouts by employers to cut wages and enforce layoffs and casualisation, there was a wave of strikes by workers for better wages and conditions, and permanent jobs.
The loud denunciations by MPs from the pulpit of parliament would be carried in banner headlines. Experts and commentators would be filling the radio airwaves and making guest appearances on TV. Editorialists would be spilling copious amounts of ink in the press, bemoaning “greedy workers”, “wrecker unionists” and my all time favourite “lazy featherbedders”, accusing these “overpaid and under-worked”, “industrial militants” of “holding the country to ransom”.
Fortunately, despite the tacit endorsement of their aggressive actions by the government and the media, the militant employers keep losing time and again as they come up against staunch workers.